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Funding success for brain disease research

Tuesday, 13 February 2018 10:42am

Research into neurodegenerative disease in the Department of Biochemistry has been boosted recently with funding successes for Dr Stephanie Hughes and the Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal Disease Lab.

Dr Hughes and her research team will receive funds from the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation in the USA to help find a treatment for Batten disease. This rare, inherited neurodegenerative disorder leaves children blind, immobile and cognitively impaired, and is ultimately fatal. The funded research will look at the effects of combining gene therapy and drugs to treat a preclinical model of Batten disease.

Three PhD students in the Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal Disease Lab have also received funding from the Brain Research New Zealand (BRNZ) national Centre of Research Excellence and the Brain Health Research Centre (BHRC).

Sophie Mathiesen and Oluwatobi Eboda have each been awarded three-year scholarships from the BRNZ. Sophie (Ngāpuhi) will be researching the workings of Alzheimer's disease with a Māori PhD scholarship, and Oluwatobi will be focusing on lysosomal dysfunction in juvenile-onset Parkinson's Disease and Batten Disease.

Stephanie Mercer has been awarded the Roche Hanns Möhler Doctoral Scholarship from the BHRC, which will provide support during the completion of her thesis, which also looks at lysosomal function in Alzheimer's disease.

Read more about the Charlotte and Gwenyth Gray Foundation here.

Read more about the BRNZ here.

Read more about the BHRC here.

Dr Stephanie Hughes, Stephanie Mercer, Sophie Mathison and Oluwatobi Eboda standing together in the Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal Disease Lab.

From left: Dr Stephanie Hughes, Stephanie Mercer, Sophie Mathison and Oluwatobi Eboda in the Neurodegenerative and Lysosomal Disease Lab.